Release from N.C. Education Lottery:
For the 9th year in a row, the N.C. Education Lottery set new records in sales and earnings in fiscal year 2015, raising $522 million for education programs in the state.
As the lottery ended its fiscal year on June 30, preliminary and unaudited results showed lottery ticket sales totaled $1.97 billion, up 7.2 percent from the year before. The lottery raised $522 million for education, up 3.8 percent.
“This success comes from North Carolinians enjoying our lottery games and winning prizes,” said Alice Garland, executive director of the lottery. “Our job is to operate fair and honest games and to encourage those who choose to play to play responsibly. The result is extra money for good causes. The popularity of our games combined with the hard work of our retail partners and lottery employees enabled us to raise the most money ever for education.”
During the year, prizes of $1 million or more were won 55 times. Total prize money won was $1.23 billion, or on average about $3.4 million a day. Many winners put their money right back to work in the economy, by paying bills, buying new houses or cars, taking vacations, saving and investing the money for retirement or college, or donating to personal good causes.
Garland said after nine years it was good to see interest and participation in the lottery continuing to grow.
The number of retailers interested in selling lottery tickets grew to the highest number ever, 6,901, up 127 from the year before. Retailers earned $137.7 million in commissions, up $9 million. More than 588,000 North Carolinians have joined the lottery’s Lucke-Zone, a website where they can get lottery news, ask questions about lottery games, and enter second-chance drawings and other promotions. And the lottery launched its fourth draw game played only in North Carolina, All or Nothing. The new game is the only one where you win a top prize of $250,000 by matching all or none of the numbers.
Along with the growth in participation, the lottery strengthened its programs to encourage responsible play. During the year, the Education Lottery became the 5th U.S. lottery to achieve one of the top certifications from the World Lottery Association for its responsible gaming program. The Level 3 certification attests that the Education Lottery has established the resources and programs to support top principles of responsible gaming governing the protection of players, cooperation with others interested in problem gambling, and advertising practices.
Final transfers of revenues to the state in June brought the lottery’s total contribution since inception to more than $3.9 billion. Legislators allocated lottery proceeds to help pay salaries of teachers and teacher assistants; help counties with construction and repair of schools, help North Carolina students pay the cost of going to a state university or community college, and help “at-risk” four-year-olds attend an academic preschool in the N.C. Pre-K Program.